Interview with Kanishka Acharya, Founder & CEO of Welldercare
Based in Mumbai, Kanishka Acharya is the Founder & CEO for Welldercare. With a vision to create a meaningful social impact by holistically addressing the needs of an aging demographic, Kanishka started Welldercare in India.
He brings a deep passion, commitment, and vision to this business, largely drawn from personal experience and philanthropy.
An experienced serial entrepreneur who is always ahead of his generation, took his first company for an IPO at the age of 21, followed by the second IT hardware company going public at the age of 24 …
Innovative, lively and passionate to live a good life, Kanishka is a maverick who brings 34 years of demonstrated history in building successful businesses in IT hardware, Food processing, Agri Tech, Mining & infrastructure, and Biosciences across the globe.
With this venture, Kanishka aims to redefine the Silver economy through an end-to-end platform that leverages technology, deep learning & research to bring a superior service benchmark and process to provide the full life cycle that keeps people healthy & happy. He believes this venture is his karmic payback to society.
Can you provide us with an overview of Welldercare and the services it offers as a healthcare-focused company?
Kanishka Acharya: Welldercare is an end to end technology & services company that aims to fill the gaps in senior care that are current pain points. We leverage technology to aid better independent senior living.
What inspired you to start Welldercare, and what was your vision behind creating a company that focuses on eldercare?
Kanishka Acharya: Our vision is to build an organisation that is at the forefront of technology to empower older adults to live joyful independent lives with a complete control of their health.
What are some of the key challenges faced by the ageing population that Welldercare aims to address?
Kanishka Acharya: The traditional social contract of joint families or parents & children living together has collapsed due to migration for job opportunities.
This leaves parents isolated and often wanting for care and access to healthcare. One of the key challenges in independent living amongst this demographic is Falls.
Typically, 1 in 3 older adults have a fall once a year, this is a sentinel event in their lives, post which their health is never the same.
The challenge for children who are living away from parents is to be able to ensure these events are attended to immediately without any human supervisory need.
Our technology seamlessly integrates into the homes of older adults without any user compliance required to detect falls and trigger rapid emergency response.
The other key challenge is for senior citizens and their children to have a 360 insight over their parent’s health without subjecting them to constant tests, checks that are psychologically defeating.
Our Ambient technology can capture all vital parameters non-invasively to provide detailed health dashboards to older adults, their children, and doctors.
Trends are constantly being monitored and anomalies are immediately flagged to ensure timely intervention before any condition turns symptomatic and severe.
In what ways does Welldercare leverage technology to enhance the quality of care for the elderly? Are there any specific innovations or platforms that you would like to highlight?
Kanishka Acharya: Our suite of IoT & Ai powered devices are designed to seamlessly integrate into daily living without any user compliance.
Since adoption to technology is a challenge in this demographic, our philosophy has been to ensure technology delivers the desired results without any user intervention.
A range of fall detections smart lamps & portraits are the first level of the solutions. These Ai powered devices are aesthetically designed to add to the living environment of our customers.
We are also developing smart mirrors that can detect all vitals – blood pressure, heart rate / Heart rate variability (HRV) Spo2 levels, temperature without any external devices.
Hence, one can just be brushing his or her teeth in the morning and the mirror is capturing all the vital details and porting the same to a back-end analytics platform that is constantly monitoring trends and detecting any anomalies.
The Iksana platform that is a first of its kind specifically for older adults and their families that integrates all technology devices and services and needs of daily living on to one easy to use platform.
Family members can get health dashboard of daily, weekly & monthly health parameters of their loved ones, doctors are aided by dashboards that offer deeper insights into health and can aid better clinical interventions.
How do you stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and best practices in elderly care? Do you collaborate with other healthcare organizations or engage in research initiatives?
Kanishka Acharya: As a technology company it is critical that we are at the forefront of developments and trends in this space to ensure we deliver the best solutions to our customers.
Welldercare has partnered with global technology companies to build products and services in Ai and IoT that incorporate the latest technology developments.
While the space is constantly evolving at a rapid pace, our entire technology architecture ensures that we can integrate these developments into the platforms and devices without any drastic change in hardware or software.
We have knowledge partnerships with respected academic institutions & universities to keep abreast of evolving technologies that can help us in our mission of improving later life living.
In your opinion, what are the key trends and challenges in the field of eldercare, and how is Welldercare positioned to address them?
Kanishka Acharya: The world is witnessing a huge demographic change with the population of senior citizens said to double by 2050.
Ageing is often associated with a deficit consisting of losses in health, mobility, financial security, and independence.
We need to make a major mind shift to think about the contribution of older adults to optimise each stage of life that can lead to a healthy longevity.
We are also seeing longer life spans – todays 5-year-old child will live to a 100, so century lives are the new reality, on the other hand society has to provide for longer working years, better and expansive healthcare coverage.
The biggest challenge is the human capital needed to deliver care for ageing adults. Western economies are battling this huge deficit by either sending their senior citizens to different countries – Germany is sending ageing citizens who require nursing care to Poland & Slovenia, or bringing in care professionals from countries like India, Philippines etc.
While these solutions of the need of the day, we believe the long terms solution is to ensure healthier ageing journeys that will keep older adults away from the nursing & care homes thereby reducing the burden on healthcare systems world over.
Welldercare has 3 main verticals – Life Empowerment – we believe the societal narrative on ageing must change and one must live this phase of life to the fullest with vigour and purpose.
We have designed a Life transforming program that is a result of a 2-year collaboration of behavioural scientists, Gerontologists, and counsellors to ensure participants of the Best Years Program embark on this phase of life with a new zeal and ‘ikigai’.
Technology – To leverage ambient intelligence technology to ensure older adults are safe and happy & finally Lifestyle Solutions – W are building large format retirement villages that will deliver a community enriched life experience with a keen oversight on health & wellness. These are what we believe are 3 main solutions to address Later life living.
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